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The basic law of Italy is the Constitution of the Italian Republic, which came into force on January 1, 1948. When the Kingdom of Italy was born (1861) the constitutional law was the Statuto Albertino introduced by King Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1848. It remained formally in force for 100 years, even after the Fascism took power in 1922, although it was devoid of substantial value.

After the World War II, the Italian people understood it was time for a change. On June 2, 1946, Italian citizens voted in a referendum that would change their country forever ...

They decided two issues. First, they voted to make Italy a republic instead of a monarchy. Second, they elected a Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution for their renewed country. The Constituent Assembly got straight to work. Its members came from many different political parties, so they quickly discovered that they would have to compromise if they wanted to get anything accomplished. They learned to work together, and on December 22, 1947, they passed the new Italian Constitution by a vote of 453 to 62. It has built-in guarantees against easy amendment, in order to make it virtually impossible to replace it with a dictatorial regime.

The Constitution of the Italian Republic is composed of 139 articles and arranged into three main parts: the Fundamental Principles (articles 1–12), Part I concerning the Rights and Duties of Citizens (articles 13–54); Part II the Organisation of the Republic (articles 55–139); followed by 18 Transitory and Final Provisions.

CLICK HERE to read the text of the Constitution of the Italian Republic in Italian and eight other languages: English, Spanish, French, Albanian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Filipino.

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